For the first time since before the Big Ex, I am happy with someone I’m dating, actually happy. More importantly, though, I can be myself. I’m not sacrificing parts of myself to fit into what I think he wants me to be and I’m not keeping my opinions to myself because I’m afraid that he might not like them.

I spent so long trying to be what someone else wanted that I had forgotten what it was like to just be myself. Mr. Unexpected makes me laugh sometimes uncontrollably, sometimes to the point of falling on the floor and almost always until my stomach hurts and I’ve forgotten what started the laughing in the first place.

When you spend so long trying to please other people, trying to be the right girl, you forget how wonderful it is to just be yourself. I don’t have to pretend anymore that not introducing me to his family after a year is okay, I don’t have to act like never letting me meet his friends doesn’t bother me, and I don’t have to temper my enthusiasm for being with him because I am worried that he will run away.

Mr. Unexpected wants me to meet his family, he doesn’t hide me from his friends and when I tell him how happy he makes me he doesn’t get turned off, he just tells me I’m cute and smiles because he knows that I’m going to hit him for using the ‘c’ word. Babies and puppies are cute, women are not; although my friends would probably take his side in this particular argument.

One of my best friends told me something about two months ago that really stuck with me: “He isn’t who you’d pick for yourself but he’s who you should be with. Don’t screw this up.” Which I think was his loving way of telling me to just enjoy it and let myself be happy.

It’s funny that when I’m sad or unhappy I forget to question what is making me so unhappy, but when things are going well I constantly wonder why I’m happy and when the other shoe is going to drop. What if the other shoe doesn’t drop? What if I just let myself be happy without asking so many questions?

I’ve decided to stop constantly questioning why and just enjoy where I am right now: happy without conditions.

It’s a first for me and it’s going to take a lot of time to be happy without asking myself why, but it’s about time I enjoy the person I’m with; it’s about time I stop constantly worrying and waiting and driving myself crazy.

Is it so hard to just love and be loved? Am I so jaded that being treated right makes me wonder what the catch is?

There is no catch. This isn’t a movie or a bad romance novel; it’s life and it’s pretty fantastic right now.

Follow Shannon on Twitter at @Shananigans.

Follow Women’s Post on Twitter at @WomensPost.

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